Massive rogue planet crowned with a glowing aurora found wandering the galaxy

First Radio Telescope Detection of a Planetary Mass Object Beyond Our Solar System

The new discovery can make boffins believe that they may have a novel way of detecting and finding exoplanets, including rogue ones that are hard to identify since they are not orbiting a parent star like the planets do in our solar system.

A massive "rogue" planet with an unexplained "glow" has been seen drifting alone through space, scientists claim.

The object is about 20 light years away from Earth, farther than the Alpha Centauri star system that is about 4 light years away.

Astronomers have detected a possible "rogue" planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star. Brown dwarf planets are sometimes called "failed stars" because they're almost large enough for fusion to begin taking place in their core, but that's not even the most unique thing about this particular planet.

It was detected using US National Science Foundation's Karl G Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) telescope. Their findings were published this week, showing that this is the first time that the observatory's radio-telescope could detect the object outside our solar system.

The unusual object sits in a grey area between a star and a planet, and was originally classed as a "brown dwarf" - a failed star.

The exact difference between a large gas planet and a brown dwarf is a bone of contention for scientists, with debate raging over what defines one or the other.

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The rogue extrasolar planetary-mass object's young age meant that it was in fact so much less massive that it could be free-floating planet - only 12.7 times more massive than Jupiter, with a radius 1.22 times that of Jupiter.

Last year, Dr. Artigau's team discovered that the object was part of a very young group of stars. It is located 20 light-years from Earth and has a surface temperature of about 825 degrees Celsius.

The object is what scientists call a brown dwarf.

The unusually strong magnetic field "presents huge challenges to our understanding of the dynamo mechanism that produces the magnetic fields in brown dwarfs and exoplanets and helps drive the auroras we see", said Caltech's Gregg Hallinan.

SIMP0136 was originally discovered in 2006 by another team of researchers, led by University of Montréal astronomer Dr. Étienne Artigau.

This is known as the "deuterium-burning limit" and happens around 13 Jupiter masses.

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